posts: 235 ,
Alkali Metal, Norman, United States message
As many of you are aware, the US State Department created a number of language courses for its diplomats and spies during the cold war, including courses in obscure but strategic languages for which few resources exist. For quite a while, the esteemed FSI Language Courses site was a repository for many of these courses, but if you click on the link, you'll notice it's been taken over by a domain squatter. Attempts to contact the site owner have met with silence, and it is reasonable to assume that the site will not be returning soon (it has been in this state for months.)
Because the US government, unlike Rosetta Stone or the Teach Yourself company, has a truly vested interest in making sure its diplomats know the languages they are working with, these courses are high-quality, albeit somewhat tedious. Moreover, these courses are fully in the public domain, so there is no need for secrecy in creating a fully-accessible collection of them. We could refer to it as the Stockpile, in honor of the nuclear stockpiles in whose shadow Cold War diplomats operated.
There are other places one can find these courses, but they're all over the Web. I currently have Amharic and Finnish on my hard drive, but am working to find the others. I am currently collecting them into my documents folder, but of course one would prefer a safer location. Here are the courses whose existence I know of:
Known FSI Courses
You can help out by trying to find mp3s and PDFs of the courses and PMing me for contact information to send it to.
There are also many lost or nearly-lost Peace Corps courses, and these have additional languages (especially indigenous languages of the Americas).